Remember the days when a former president moved to the sidelines and let his predecessor lead the nation without petty criticism? Those days are long gone. Barack Obama ugly tweeted President Trump with an attack on his administration’s rolling back of vehicle emissions standards and threw in a reference to Trump’s perceived “denial” of the coronavirus for good measure.
Former President Obama doesn’t actually use the current president’s name in the tweet, he chooses instead to tweet in a passive-aggressive way to his 114.9 million followers. (President Trump has 75.6 million Twitter followers, for reference.) He wants to publicly criticize President Trump but fails miserably to sound like a brave, bold member of The Resistance. Obama tweeted out an article in the L.A. Times about the Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department’s easing of overzealous fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.
We've seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. We can't afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall. https://t.co/K8Ucu7iVDK
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 31, 2020
Obama conflates the Trump administration’s slow response to the coronavirus outbreak to the narrative that anyone not willing to destroy a major sector of the U.S. economy (like the oil and gas industry) in the name of saving the planet must be called out. You may remember that the Obama administration was the least business-friendly administration of modern administrations. His administration targeted the energy sector as well as major industries like the auto industry with vigor, using global warming alarmism as their justification, especially through the EPA. Apparently rolling back gas mileage standards is a bridge too far. Obama was too triggered to stay in his lane.
In 2012 the Obama administration put into place strict gas mileage and emissions requirements as a way to slow climate change. The Trump administration’s move doesn’t completely stop the Obama mandate of a 5% annual increase in fuel economy moving forward, as Trump originally proposed, but lessens the mandate to 1.5% a year. The goal is to achieve an average of about 40 miles per gallon by 2026. The Obama era goal was reaching an average of 54 mpg by 2025. The Trump administration sees the change as a reasonable compromise between environmental concerns and the auto industry. The former president even falls for the claims of alarmists in his tweet, that even during a pandemic climate change over-regulation should take precedence. Never mind the deaths caused by COVID-19, climate change will kill us all.
“We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to correct the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. The administration’s plan, he said, “strikes the right regulatory balance that protects our environment and sets reasonable targets for the auto industry.”
Environmentalists and public health advocates said the change would likely contribute to thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks. They criticized the decision to make the new standards final in the midst of a global pandemic, arguing that the rollback would damage public health at a time when thousands of people are gravely ill and the nation’s economy is in tatters.
President Trump is slowly but surely dismantling Obama’s successes with the left’s wish list from his days in office. The Obama legacy has been shattered. Each time a major move is made by the Trump administration – like this one by the EPA – Obama comes forward and pushes back. He used this occasion as a get out the vote move, too. Obama makes a plea to his followers, “especially young people”, to get out and vote this fall.
The Trump administration finalized the rollback to meet an April 1 deadline. The new standards will apply to the 2022 model year of vehicles. Also, after May 19, under the Congressional Review Act, new rules can be validated by the next Congress. The rules apply nationwide but lawsuits will now come forward, most assuredly from states like California. Automakers are in talks with California officials to strike a voluntary emissions agreement – not as relaxed as the Trump administration’s but not as zealous as those of the Obama administration.
Just hours after the administration unveiled the final rule Tuesday, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, disclosed that Volvo was in talks with the state to reach a voluntary emissions agreement. Four other automakers — Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW — have already made a deal with the state that would preserve emissions standards that are not as tough as the Obama standards, but are significantly more ambitious than Trump’s proposal.
During these days of the great hunkering down across America, fewer vehicles are on the road and many businesses are scaling back or suspending operations. This is lessening the release of emissions into the atmosphere, ironically, during the pandemic. This must please the climate change alarmists who are happy to advocate draconian measures like the keep it in the ground agenda that calls for the complete elimination of the oil and gas industry. The United States is not prepared to operate without fossil fuels, and neither is the world in general. The advocates of this nonsense are just ignorant. You would think that a former president would understand the basic economics of how the energy sector, for example, fuels the American economy. Rolling back the emissions standard for the auto industry will help as the U.S. economy comes back after the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.
As far as Obama’s criticism of Trump’s “denial” of the coronavirus pandemic, that’s a bit rich. His own administration’s handling of the H1N1 pandemic was slow and flat-footed, as it was with the Ebola outbreak which the Obama administration downplayed until it didn’t. Spare me the 20/20 hindsight now from Barack Obama, especially as we are still in the midst of combatting the COVID-19 outbreak.
Barack Obama ushered in the Trump era. His divisive governing style made Trump’s style the natural continuation of how a president conducts himself. Thank goodness in these uncertain economic times we have a businessman in the White House, not a hyper-partisan run-of-the-mill politician like Obama.